Which fitness solution will you choose in January?


In Lucan alone we have many different solutions. I am a fairly honest bloke so this will be my honest critique, educating you the reader and showing the pros and cons.

To put a bit of context behind this before we start. People do not know what they do not know. You do not know what poor training is until you have had good training. While for others if you are somewhere good to start you may take it for granted and not realise how poor things may be elsewhere. The grass may not be greener.

However I would also hasten to add that if you love where you train, get great results and feel safe and cared for then you probably do not need to read on.

What you may want to know is the various price points.

The large cheap gym commercial gyms….I am talking about one in particular

 Photo by h4ckermodify/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by h4ckermodify/iStock / Getty Images

It is a very well equipped gym. It is seriously cheap. It has great opening hours and run a variety of free classes.

The problem is a lot of people feel they do not fit in there. As a result of it being so cheap a lot of teenagers join and hang around in gangs and many people feel intimidated by this. Those who are serious trainers and know their stuff get frustrated with queuing for equipment and not getting to follow through on their own gym programmes as a result. Mainly though you get no attention and no help or advice from a trainer. I was a member there for a few years and I loved it but I was a qualified trainer and used to train at off peak times. However when it was busy it was so annoying as I could never get my sessions done and hated the way equipment got hogged.

The gym model is based on the hope that the majority of people will not make use of their membership and therefore not show up. It used to annoy me seeing people float around not knowing what they were doing and those that had an idea of what they were doing were doing things wrong. Cost is about €20 a month I think.


 Photo by Lorado/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Lorado/iStock / Getty Images

The quality of these like most things is very much dependent on the trainers and the level of attention they can give. There are poor quality bootcamps and less poor quality bootcamps. If you have read any of my blogs in the past you will know we used to feel like a bootcamp that was just less crap than others so I know what I am talking about on this.

So what makes a good bootcamp?

Well first the programming. By that I mean the sessions need to be programmed to such a basic level that there is nothing technical in it that requires much coaching or that there is a risk of injury from. We run 2 bootcamp style classes a week but we make them mostly cardio or conditioning based as they act as top ups or additional cardio to our normal sessions. We let up to 18 people into these sessions.

Can someone get results from a bootcamp. Yes 100% some people will get great results while others will be impacting their bodies in ways that will make them wright in pain when they are older. The main thing is when the body adapts to the training it is hard to see progress because you are training in a school hall or outdoors with minimum equipment with a large amount of people, therefore it is hard to progress the weight you lift etc.

Cost is about €80 to €100 a month for the better ones. If we look at the Tallaght market 40 people to 1 trainer bootcamps are €70 a month while 20 people is €109 a month and 12 people per group €169

One to One Personal Training

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Obviously if you get a good trainer who cares you will get a lot of attention, you should get great results but you will pay for a privilege and pay a lot.

Personal training was never meant to be cheap and nor should it be if your trainer is good enough and qualified enough. However there are a lot of cheap, poor quality trainers out there too.

One thing I would say about 1 to 1 is it can get monotonous and it can involve a lot of small talk over time and in time you do not really want one person breathing down your neck, counting every rep for you. However if you are severely obese or badly injured you may need one on one to start with.

We do some one on one which we do not market because we only do it at 8am, 9am or 3pm. Our one on one costs €75 per session paid up front at the start of the month. There are others who charge between €25 to €75 per session.

Semi Private or Small Group Personal Training

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The first thing you need to determine is, is this gym or programme actually Small Group Personal Training. If it is 10 or 12 people per trainer well then it is not Semi Private or Small Group. Yes it is smaller than a 20 to 40 person bootcamp class but is also nowhere near Personal Training and the gym does not have a true system for working with as different number of people will turn up to different sessions.

In the interest of honesty - we are a Small Group or Semi Private Personal Training so therefore we are biased on this but we have ran open gym, large group (up to 20 people) and one on one and the Semi Private system works for the largest amount of people from Elite Athletes to complete beginners.

This model is based on working with 4 or 5 people to a trainer, meaning you will be shown your exercises like one on one, get lots of attention, have your technique corrected and programme adapted to suit you.

There is the benefit of the group chat and atmosphere without the forced small talk. This leads to friendships and competitiveness over time.

We have 49 sessions per week that can be booked a week in advance allowing both flexibility and accountability.

The price for Small Group or Semi Private Personal Training ranges from €129 to €300 a month however we are the only ones doing it on a 1 Trainer to 4 people basis in Lucan (if there is someone I do not know of, I apologise). Our most popular rate works out at €50 a week for 3 sessions per week plus access to our group sessions. We have an Unlimited option of €75 a week too. We also have a couples rate or group of 4 rate of €149 each per month or €38 a week. Again this is not cheap and as I said before personal training was never meant to be cheap, however it is affordable as many people will spend this money on beer, wine, coffee and takeaways each month. Our members simply put some of that money towards their training.

The best way to find out if this gym and our Athletic Body Coaching system is for you is to do our trial month to test drive the service we offer, see if you like it, see if you like us, see if you get results and if it fits your lifestyle, schedule and to see if you think it is worth paying for over time. This is on sale now at €129

You will be trained by great trainers, in a friendly atmosphere with a high performance culture.

You do not have to be great to start but you do have to start to be great

In Summary

Large commercial gyms are cheap but you get no attention

Bootcamps are cheap you pay for the workout but you get little attention

Personal Training is expensive but you get a lot of attention

Semi Private Small Group Personal Training gives the attention of personal training, the craic and atmosphere of training with others, it is not cheap but it is affordable to those willing to invest a little extra in their training